The Solar Return on Investment The Evidence to Underpin your Solar PV Project

How do we forecast returns yielded by an investment in solar? How do we prove the returns of your renewable energy project? This document aims to break down the underpinning variables, and provide supportive evidence to give you the peace of mind that your investment will provide the returns we see on the market everyday. Simple. Straighforeward.

The Market for Business

On-site energy generation from solar PV is being embraced by businesses, construction companies and consultants across the UK due to the delivery of significant and lasting reductions to operating costs and cuts in CO2 emissions. Your Eco Construction work on new build projects and refurbishments, off-grid systems and clean energy management to bridge the gap in your renewable energy project requirements. Installing renewable energy technology allows you to pre-purchase power today at a fixed unit price, cutting your operating expenditure and protecting your business from future energy price rises. We work with organisations across the public, community, commercial and construction sectors delivering innovative, efficient and cost-effective solar PV systems and battery storage systems that develop lasting partnerships with our clients. With no moving parts, minimal maintenance, product warranties as standard and O&M contracts available, a solar PV system will integrate seamlessly into your business; the only difference you’ll notice is to your bottom line.

Cost of Electricity

The cost of electricity in the UK has been rising for many years, with some energy companies increasing their prices by as much as 10% year-on-year. Unfortunately for business owners it seems that this trend is set to continue into the future, with businesses facing ever-rising energy bills.

But why is this? A recent report by the energy regulator Ofgem blamed the rising costs that energy companies are facing. An increase in the wholesale price of electricity together with the government raising the tax on environmental and social policy legislation means that energy providers are having to increase their prices in order to compensate for their additional outgoings. As a result, households and businesses are being left increasingly out of pocket.

Source: National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios, July 2015

By focussing 100% on energy management we remain at the forefront of the industry, providing innovative solutions, and ensuring our clients maximise the return from their investments. As business people we understand the importance of delivering on budget and on time.

System Design

It is important to design a system that meets the needs of you the client. The best financial returns are now realised through consuming what you generate; hence the system should be tailored around these factors. Whilst steep pitched, south facing elevations create the higher yield, this is limited to a particular window of time within the day hence low-pitched, east/west facing roofs generate for longer periods throughout the day thereby more closely mirroring the load.

Governance & Accreditation

Working to the well Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) where a strong emphasis is placed upon accurate forecasting the technology underpins our commerical proposals. In the age where computer modeling & variables can be skewed to show more 'favorable' results the need to be sure of the investment is crucial. Incorrect forecasting can result in claims being made against the installer by the system owner to recoup lost revenue. Their irradiance table attached (Bristol is 5E) based on last 10 years of meteorological data provides a conservative forecast with the orientation of the array away from south and pitch being the only variables.

Irradiance Datasets for MCS Website

The annual generation has been calculated as per MCS guidance using the calculation below.

Annual AC output (kWh) = kW x kWh/kW x SF

e.g. 27,000 = 30 kW x 900 kWh/kW x 1 SF

This system performance calculation has been undertaken using estimated values for array orientation, inclination or shading. Actual performance may be significantly lower or higher if the characteristics of the installed system vary from the estimated values.

The performance of solar PV systems is impossible to predict with certainty due to the variability in the amount of solar radiation (sunlight) from the location to location and from year to year. This estimate is given as a guidance only. It should not be considered as a guarantee of performance.

A shade assessment has been conducted via a site-survey which has produced the below chart.

This shade assessment has been undertaken using the standard MCS procedure – it is estimated that this method will yield results within 10% of the actual annual energy yield for most systems.

Irradiance Levels

The performance of a solar PV system depends on the amount of sunlight that falls on the PV modules. The map below shows the incident solar radiation in the UK over the course of one year. A solar PV system in the south west of England will generate around 30% more than one in Scotland.

Yearly Total of Global Horizontal Irradiation UK & Ireland

Solar Irradiance Trends

Source Carlton Edu 2017.

Component warranty and performance

Warranties for the product but also the performance of the solar modules. Use of Bloomberg Tier 1 panels as bankability guide for investors. Claims against performance levels out to 25 years inclusive of degradation

Computer simulation software

The use of technology such as PV Sol enables the simulation and modeling of system performance to be run in parallel with the MCS process. This helps forecast your solar project yield giving you the piece of mind on your renewable energy investment.

Our detail-led consultative approach to renewable energy projects offers you industry-leading advice and solutions from financing to design. A system with your interests and motives in mind, right through to having your own designated project manager to ensure an effective installation and handover.


Created with images by Asia Chang - "untitled image" • American Public Power Association - "untitled image" • chuttersnap - "untitled image" • Skitterphoto - "solar panel solar panel" • markusspiske - "solar cells solar solar panel roof power"

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